NAAWA launched the Education Outreach Program back in September 2018. It is led by Jihan Andoni (NAAWA co-founder) along with other core-team: Dr Ilham Nasser, Wahiba Derouaze, Aline Batarseh, Sirine Abou-Seoud, Rula Khoury & Janeen Rashmawi. All of the women who are involved in the initiative are dedicated to making sure that the education curriculum has accurate information about the Arab world and the Arab-American community. The group has met with members of the FCPS school board early 2019, addressed the school board in one of its public meetings, met with the superintendent, social studies specialists, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) members, educators and others to voice our concerns about the curriculum. We have had several asks of our stakeholders, including:
1. The importance of integrating cultural sensitivity training for teachers towards the Arab world
2. Including members of our community in the curriculum review process
3. Integrating supplementary materials that we’ve been compiling in schools
While we are currently focused on FCPS, we plan to expand our work to other counties in the United States. A recent example is our involvement in making sure that Loudoun County public schools do not adopt new harmful social studies and history textbooks that contain inaccurate, biased, and racist information towards the Middle East in general, and Palestinians and Muslims in particular. We believe that this is the right time to act and make our voices heard, and we would love for you all to join us, and to add your voice to ours. If you would like to join us, please email us (email@example.com ). Together, we can hold the school system accountable to our children’s education.
Special Thanks to our team partner Virginia-Coalition-for-Human-Rights